Study on Perennial Allergic Rhinitis and Probiotics

Here’s an interesting study from Townsend Letter on Probiotic for Perennial Allergic Rhinitis. Perennial Allergic Rhinitis and Probiotics

Sixty-three children (between the ages of 7-12 years) took part in the study with moderate to-severe perennial allergic rhinitis. They were randomly assigned to receive, in open-label fashion, levocetirizine (an antihistamine) with or without (control) Lactobacillus johnsonii EM1 (1010 colony-forming units per day) for 12 weeks, and then the alternate treatment for an additional 12 weeks. All study medication was taken once a day at bedtime.

During the first 12-week period, the mean total symptom score improved significantly in both groups at 4, 8, and 12 weeks. The degree of improvement was significantly greater in the probiotics group than in the control group at week 4 (p = 0.014), week 8 (p = 0.011), and week 12 (p < 0.01). During the second 12-week period, the group crossed over to probiotics showed continual and progressive improvement, while the other group did not.

Reducing Colic in Babies with Probiotics

When I had my first baby, I was so excited to be called a mother and to show the world my newborn baby. I did not realize that there were many types of gastrointestinal disorders for newborns out there.  The most common among infants in their first six months of life include colic, acid reflux, and constipation.

Baby colic (also known as infantile colic) is defined as “episodes of crying for more than three hours a day for more than three days a week for three weeks in an otherwise healthy child between the ages of two weeks and four months”.

Acid reflux, also called gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), is one of the most common infant feeding problems; with around 25 percent of all babies experience some degree of it.

Constipation –  well, we’ve all been there at some point in our lives, but when an infant’s has it, it can break your heart.

 Pediatricians often prescribe medications, among other ways to calm a baby that is suffering from gastrointestinal upset. Previous studies have shown that  probiotics can help reduce kid’s diarrhea when antibiotics are prescribed. We know too, that taking  probiotics everyday can benefit our digestive tract.

A new study has found another positive effect of probiotics: there are fewer doctor visits for babies – so there’s a way to save some money now.

 A new study led by Dr. Flavia Indrio at Aldo Moro University of Bari in Italy, on infants and probiotics, published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows that using probiotics in infants may lead to lower health costs associated with gastrointestinal disorders.

Researchers examined 554 newborns under a week old and were born between September 2010 and October 2012. The infants either received a placebo or a probiotic supplement that contained Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 bacteria everyday for 90 days.

The parents were required to keep a journal that included how often the child regurgitated milk or formula and emptied their bowels, the duration of inconsolable crying, and the number of doctor visits.

At the end of the three months, researchers found that the infants who took the daily probiotic;

emptied their bowels more times more than the placebo group

– had lower averages of regurgitation compared to the placebo group

– had shorter periods of inconsolable crying

Researchers also determined that using probiotics saved each patient over 100 dollars in medical costs, and there were no adverse health effects from taking a daily probiotic.

A study published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology Nutrition in 2007, showed that infants who were formula fed and given a prebiotic mixture had normal growth and stools similar to those who are breast-fed. Prebiotics are nondigestable carbohydrates that act as food for the probiotics, which is fuel for the probiotics to survive, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Prebiotics are found in whole grains, onions, garlic, honey, and artichokes, and probiotics are found in yogurt. When prebiotics & probiotics are combined they form a synbiotic. Fermented dairy products such as kefir are synbiotic because they contain both.

 Study Outcome:

This new study found that probiotics can help decrease vomiting and the duration of inconsolable crying – and increase the number of times that newborns were able to empty their bowels, even in formula-fed infants, who are more prone to constipation.

Had I known then, what I know now….I would have given my newborn probiotics.  But, better late than never, we are all on probiotics today.

Cheers to Staying Healthy in 2014

I read about this amazing wellness doctor-Dr. Frank Lipman, who treats Donna Karan & Gwyneth Paltrow. His article is interesting and it was rewarding to read that his suggestions are the same as what we have been telling our customers for years.

Dr. Frank Lipman is an internationally recognized expert in the field of integrative medicine. Focused on sustainable wellness – instead of quick fixes – he offers patients a customized blend of Western medicine with acupuncture, nutritional counseling, vitamins and herbs, relaxation techniques, physical therapy and bodywork.

With so much out there, what vitamins to take and when to take them, we have broken down the five most important supplements each of us should be taking to stay healthy.
Live well, eat clean and take your supplements.

Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that live in your gut and play a huge role in your general wellness. When you’re healthy, your intestinal tract houses over 100 trillion “good” bacteria, which aide in digestion, boosting your immune system and consuming bad bacteria. They create key nutrients & restrict the growth of yeast & unhealthy bacteria. They also limit bouts of lactose intolerance, diarrhea and bad digestion. But, as strong as your natural probiotics might be, bad diet, stress, pollution and over use of antibiotics can wipe out the good bacteria. A daily dose of probiotics is a great way to improve digestion as well as boost your immune system.

Fish oil supplements are rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are fundamental to being healthy. EFAs (essential fatty acids) are very useful in helping all inflammatory conditions like Crohn’s Disease and Colitis, IBS, Leaky Gut, Diverticulitis and arthritis, strengthening the immune system and decreasing allergy responses.

They boost your immune system; support your cardiovascular, joint and vision health; strengthen skin, hair, and nails; and enhance nutrient absorption, metabolic function as well as attention, mood and memory skills. Everyone should be taking fish oil supplements!

Health-supporting nutrients, like those found in multivitamins, help us fight against the daily damage our bodies get from living in a polluted & stressful environment.

Garden of Life Family Multivitamin provide select nutrients to support the immune system with added vitamins C, A, selenium and zinc as well as mental and physical energy with vitamin B complex, chromium and iron.

Vitamin D enriches muscle strength, builds bone, has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects, and strengthens the immune system. It’s almost impossible to get the right amount of vitamin D from food, so you have to get it from supplements or sun exposure. There are 2 products that I have taken and recommend.  Nordic Naturals ProOmega & D3 and Garden of Life Raw Vitamin D3.

Magnesium helps control hundreds of chemical reactions in the body. It helps to regulate blood pressure, strengthen bones & muscles, keep the immune system strong, and support cardiac & brain function.

Research has indicated that as many as 80% of us are magnesium deficient, so supplementing it is an excellent way to support good health. Even if you maintain a good, clean diet, stress, alcohol use, and certain drugs can lead to magnesium depletion despite your best efforts, which is why magnesium supplementation (300-600mg magnesium glycinate at bedtime) is recommended.

So now you have the scoop on what supplements you should be taking stay healthy this year. 
Cheers to staying healthy in 2014!!! You can do it!

A Simple Solution To Hospital Infection

 Since I do not have any issues with my gut, I never realized how many people actually do have problems.

I was really surprised to read a very interesting article on clostridium difficile, or C. difficile. It is the most common gut bug infection and growing epidemic.

C. difficile spores are found frequently in hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, and nurseries for newborn infants. Scary!!!!

They can be found on bedpans, furniture, toilet seats, linens, telephones, stethoscopes, fingernails, rings (jewelry), floors, infants’ rooms, diaper pails and can even be carried by pets. 

One specific article I read about was  Holy Redeemer hospital in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and how they are treating their patients with yogurt. Wow!! So should we all be eating more yogurt to stay healthy?
Not only is yogurt full of good bacteria, but it is used to treat Clostridium Difficile at Holy Redeemer Hospital.

Read More 

What Supplements Should We Be Taking?

Healthy eating is about eating smart. You may think you’re eating all the food groups, but it’s not that easy to get every essential nutrient we need from diet alone. In addition to staying healthy, we need to exercise and sleep well.Supplements and Vitamins

Although I am a fit, healthy mother of two, I found this latest research on  nine popular vitamins & supplements (that should be included in our diet) very interesting and thought I would share it.

1. Probiotics
Helpful or beneficial bacteria are called probiotics.  Probiotics or friendly bacteria are able to alter the intestinal microflora balance favorably. They also inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria as well as promote good digestion and boost immune function and thus increase resistance to inflammation and infection. You’ll find probiotics in foods such as yogurts (with live, active cultures), kefir, fermented foods like- sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, miso and dark chocolate. Keep in mind that most of the time, you can’t get enough probiotics through eating foods alone, and you’ll need to take a supplement. My favorite are VSL#3 and the Dr Ohirra OMX formula.

 2. Vitamin C
According to the National Institutes of Health, consuming large amounts of Vitamin C may shorten a cold’s course by about one day. A high dose is 4,000 mg per day, taking four, 1,000 mg pills with lots of clear liquids. Vitamin C is water-soluble, so it works more effectively to flush out the virus when you drink a lot of fluid. Start at the first sign of symptoms.

3. Vitamin D
This important vitamin helps your body absorb calcium. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, or your body doesn’t absorb it well, you increase the risk for osteoporosis. Skin makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun, but sunscreen can reduce its production by 95%. Vitamin D is present in only a few fortified foods such as milk, yogurt, orange juice, and fatty fish like salmon & tuna. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends taking a daily 400 IU vitamin D supplement.

4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, a substance that protects against the effects of free radicals — cell-damaging molecules that can play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Vitamin E also boosts your immune system. Most people get enough vitamin E from the foods they eat,such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens. Another reason to stick with food sources: Vitamin E supplements may be harmful for people who take blood thinners & other medicines.

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Experts say to eat hearty doses of fish. The recommendation is to eat fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines and white fish like tilapia, halibut, and sea bass at least twice a week. They have the highest amounts of essential oils necessary for the body. Allergic to fish or just not a fan? Partake in more flax, soy, canola, and walnuts. Personally, I love all Nordic Natural EFA’s and Essential Formulas Chia Omega EPA & DHA that  contains cold-pressed chia seed oil and is fish free.

6. Calcium
As a dynamic tissue, bone is always in flux, either releasing calcium or depositing it. Your body needs enough of the mineral so that it does not have to take more from the bone than it can handle. But if you are 40 years or older, do not assume you should be taking a calcium supplement. Data from almost 24,000 participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study found too much, as little as 2000 mg per day, can boost your risk of heart attack. Before reaching for a supplement, take an inventory of how much calcium you’re already obtaining from the foods you eat regularly.The recommended daily dose is 1000mg for women under 50 and 1200 mg for those over 50 and in menopause. If you eat three servings of dairy a day, you are likely getting adequate amounts.

7. Echinacea
Like Vitamin C, echinacea’s effectiveness in preventing colds is up for debate among researchers. Several clinical studies report that taking echinacea as either a tea or supplement is not effective; however, others found it can decrease the odds of developing the cold by 45% – 58%. Echinacea seems to be most effective if started when cold symptoms are first noticed and continued for 7 to 10 days. Daily dosage is two to four cups of tea or two, 2,000 mg pills per day.

 8. Black Cohosh
Exactly how Black Cohosh works is unknown, but the NIH found that it significantly reduces the frequency of menopausal hot flashes. Taking 40 – 100 mg per day has shown to be comparable to a prescription of low-dose transdermal estradiol. Though it is not for everyone: Black cohosh should not be used by pregnant or lactating women, those with a history of breast cancer or hormone-sensitive conditions such as uterine and ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids. The herb might also be linked to liver failure & autoimmune hepatitis.

9. Garlic
This root plant has been shown to have a bevy of health benefits when eaten fresh, (rather than aged or in supplement form). According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine eating fresh garlic may lead to lower blood pressure & a reduced risk of atherosclerosis, colon, rectal & stomach cancers.
How to chew on garlic without reeking? Chew on a few sprigs of parsley.


Probiotics decreased atopic sensitization risk

After reading this recent study in Pediatrics, I want to share with you how important Probiotics are in adults & children.

According to recent study findings
, probiotic administration prenatally and/or early in life reduced the risk for atopic sensitization and the total immunoglobulin E level in children.Probiotics decreased atopic sensitization risk

Researchers wrote, “We found that the administration of probiotics in early life may reduce total IgE and protect against atopic sensitization but does not appear to protect against asthma and wheeze. Therefore, carefully selected probiotics administered during pregnancy and early infancy may have a role in the primary prevention of atopic diseases,  particularly in high-risk infants. Future trials should consider specific strains of probiotics, longer follow-up times, and perhaps association with oligosaccharides, particularly when assessing the effects of probiotics in the reduction of risk of asthma and wheeze later in life.”

Please read the full article

Ease Digestion With Natural Ingredients

People who have digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),  gas or food intolerances , can turn to key dietary ingredients that help boost digestion.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other symptoms.  Symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal cramps. There are IBS treatments such as diet and lifestyle changes, supplements and medications that help.

Natural Supplements Ease Digestion

Ease Digestion With Natural Ingredients

Of all of the health benefits associated with probiotics, digestion ranks number one in consumers’ minds, and with good reason. Studies have shown these beneficial bacteria can address a number of digestive ailments. Research demonstrates that probiotics can reduce potentially fatal Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea as well as reduce IBS symptoms.

While studies show probiotics benefit the gut, it’s important to understand that each probiotic strain is unique and offers its own health benefits. For instance, the Bifidobacterium lactis strain BB-12® , Lactobacillus casei rhamnosu, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30,  and Saccharomyces cerevisiae all have research backing.

Natural products Insider says, “Research has confirmed the digestive benefits of probiotics, but adding prebiotics to the mix can help probiotics do their job better. Often made of fiber, prebiotics are components that provide the fuel to stimulate probiotics in the digestive tract. Indeed, research has shown prebiotics can significantly modulate the colonic microbiota by increasing the number of specific bacteria and thus changing the composition of the microbiota.

Prebiotics with scientific backing include inulin, fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS).

Being fiber, prebiotics get a digestive health association, as consumers are well aware of the benefit of fiber to the digestive system. Common forms of fiber that help digestion include Psyllium husk (derived from Plantago ovate), fenugreek , guar gum, maize and tapioca.

Enzyme supplementation plays a role in the management of various digestive disorders and other conditions associated with poor digestion including lactose intolerance. Plant-based enzymes, such as bromelain from pineapple, serve as effective digestive aids in the breakdown of proteins. Lactase, when consumed along with milk, cheese or other dairy products, makes those foods easier to digest. Alpha-galactosidase helps reduce gas, and aspergillopepsin helps gluten digestion. Actinidin, an enzyme from kiwi, helps digest proteins.”